testing continued at Phillip Island on Monday, the first of two official days scheduled at the Australian circuit ahead of Round 1 of the 2013 season, which will start February 24. Many teams participated in two unofficial days
on track the previous week - tumultuous sessions which saw a number of riders hit the pavement. Monday’s test was decidedly less perilous and at the end of the day it was FIXI Crescent Suzuki’s Leon Camier
who was fastest, breaking the circuit lap record with his time of 1’31.243. Pata Honda’s Leon Haslam
posted the second-fastest time and was followed by Red Devils Roma’s Michel Fabrizio
Camier was one of the riders to go down during proceedings the week prior, so he spent much of his time on Monday regaining feel on his GSX-R1000
, which had been rebuilt.
"We needed to change some stuff after the bike had been re-built, so this morning was there no big hurry to push from the start. We changed the bike a bit in the lunch-break, because unfortunately it didn't quite feel the same as it did before I smashed it up last week! The feeling came back and we also had to change quite a bit because of the heat, I did the same lap-time in the cooler conditions last week as I did in the heat today, so I think we did a pretty good job. It's very close at the top, so it doesn't really count for anything, because the race will be difficult and the other guys have got some time to perfect what they've got. We are in quite good shape at the moment, but we know there is still a lot to do for the rest of this week."
Thanks to the new surface and smooth ride offered at the track, the top seven riders posted times under the previous circuit record. Aprilia Racing Team’s Eugene Laverty
trailed Fabrizio by a fraction of a second in fourth, while BMW Motorrad GoldBet’s Marco Melandri
followed in fifth. Team Ducati Alstare’s Carlos Checa
was sixth-fastest, making it to the track for the first time since arriving nearly a week before after recovering from a blocked intestine which forced the 2011 WSBK champion to seek medical attention. Althea Racing Aprilia’s Davide Giugliano came in seventh and was happy to have achieved such a strong result considering the limited time he’s had to test the RSV4.
Giugliano is confident he can improve the pace in the coming weeks.
“If we stop and think that this is just one of the first tests we have done with the RSV4, the result can only be positive, because we are only a few tenths of a second from an official Aprilia rider who uses this bike for quite some time,” said Giugliano. “But I know my potential, that of my team and that of my bike so I am not fully satisfied with what we did today as we could have done better.”
Laverty’s teammate, Sylvain Guintoli
, came in eighth-fastest, followed by Haslam’s teammate, Jonathan Rea
, in ninth. Kawasaki Racing Team’s Tom Sykes
rounded out the top-10 and continues to recover from a crash the previous week that left him with an injured wrist.
MR-Racing Ducati’s Max Neukirchner went down hard early in the morning and was transported to Dandenong Hospital. No word yet on the severity of his condition. Checa’s teammate, Ayrton Badovini, remained off track entirely as he continues to recover from his big crash last week.
World Superbike Phillip Island Test Day 1 Results 2013:
1. Leon Camier (Suzuki) 1’31.243
2. Leon Haslam (Honda) 1’31.396
3. Michel Fabrizio (Aprilia) 1’31.401
4. Eugene Laverty (Aprilia) 1’31.452
5. Marco Melandri (BMW) 1’31.485
6. Carlos Checa (Ducati) 1’31.523
7. Davide Giugliano (Aprilia) 1’31.701
8. Sylvain Guintoli (Aprilia) 1’31.966
9. Jonathan Rea (Honda) 1’31.980
10. Tom Sykes (Kawasaki) 1’32.061
11. Chaz Davies (BMW) 1’32.077
12. Jamie Stauffer (Honda) 1’32.231
13. Ivan Clementi (BMW) 1’32.789
14. Jules Cluzel (Suzuki) 1’32.817
15. Vittorio Iannuzzo (BMW) 1’33.162
16. Max Neukirchner (Ducati) 1’33.541
17. Loris Baz (Kawasaki) 1’33.628
18. Glen Allerton (BMW) 1’34.009
19. Federico Sandi (Kawasaki) 1’34.094
20. Alexander Lundh (Kawasaki) 1’34.612
World Supersport riders were also on hand for testing, and Yakhnich Motorsport’s Sam Lowes posted the fastest lap ahead of 2012 WSS champion Kenan Sofuoglu of Mahi Racing Team India Kawasaki. Lowes’ teammate, Vladimir Leonov, came in third-fastest but had a scare during the session, going down on Turn 9 due to oil on the track. Suriano Racing Team’s Mathew Scholtz also went down and was taken to the medical center, though luckily he sustained no serious injuries. Following the two incidents, officials red-flagged the test and eventually ended the session in order to clean the track.
Prorace Honda rider Gabor Talmacsi came in fourth followed by Pata Honda World Supersport Team’s Michael Van der Mark in fifth. Sofuoglu’s teammate, Fabien Foret, was sixth-fastest while wildcard rider Josh Hook of Team Honda Racing placed seventh.
World Supersport Phillip Island Test Day 1 Results 2013:
1. Sam Lowes (Yamaha) 1’33.950
2. Kenan Sofuoglu (Kawasaki) 1’34.155
3. Vladimir Leonov (Yamaha) 1’34.307
4. Gabor Talmacsi (Honda) 1’34.436
5. Michael Van der Mark (Honda) 1’34.642
6. Fabien Foret (Kawasaki) 1’34.764
7. Josh Hook (Honda) 1’34.832
8. Massimo Roccoli (Yamaha) 1’35.056
9. Roberto Rolfo (MV Agusta) 1’35.213
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